Zotac Slings an Intel Core i5 Processor Into Pint Sized Zbox

Paul Lilly

Small form factor (SFF) computing meets up with Ivy Bridge.

When you stop and think about it, the amount of power in some of today's mini PC systems is pretty amazing. Enter Zotac , a company that lives and breathes small form factor (SFF) systems under its Zbox line, which today it infused with an Intel Core i5 3470T processor. It's a respectable desktop part built around Intel's Ivy Bridge architecture with two processing cores clocked at 2.9GHz (3.6GHz via Turbo), 3MB of cache, and a rated max TDP of 35W -- plenty powerful enough for general purpose computing.

The Zbox ID89 with the above mentioned processor and ID88 with a Core i3 3220T chip are both the result of user feedback, Zotac claims.

"Users demanded the same performance as larger desktop PCs from our Zbox but the small size made it virtually impossible to deliver the same performance as desktop PCs. After many months of engineering and fine tuning, we came up with a solution that enables us to install desktop LGA1155 socket Intel Core i5 and i3 processors without sacrificing size, noise or power consumption that will make our end users very happy," says Carsten Berger , senior director, Zotac International.

The choice of processor and price are all that separate the ID89 and ID88, both of which support up to 16GB of DDR3-1600 memory via two SO-DIMM slots. Other features include a single 2.5-inch drive bay, 4-in-1 memory card reader, two GbE LAN ports, built-in WirelessN and Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity, two USB 2.0 ports, two USB 3.0 ports, eSATA, HDMI output, and a DVI port.

Both systems are also available in "Plus" SKUs, which come with 4GB of DDR3 memory and a 500GB HDD (5400 RPM) pre-installed. No word yet on how much these or the standard models cost.

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